• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Examine the settings which the writers have chosen for their stories in the Signalman and The Man with the Twisted Lip. Consider the effects that each writer has created and how they contribute to the atmosphere.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Examine the settings which the writers have chosen for their stories in the Signalman and The Man with the Twisted Lip. Consider the effects that each writer has created and how they contribute to the atmosphere. Both The Signalman by Charles Dickens and The Man with the Twisted Lip by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle use setting to create a menacing atmosphere. They were also both written during Queen Victoria's reign: The Signalman in 1866, and The Man with the Twisted Lip in 1891. The Signalman was written five years after the Clayton tunnel crash and a year after Dickens was involved in the Staplehurst rail crash which killed ten people and injured forty-nine. Central to the Signalman are two rail accidents, preceded by the appearance of a spectre, and these are both believed to have been used as material for the story. It is, perhaps, saying that railways, a product of the Industrial Revolution and rationality, are not immune to unknown and irrational forces. The Industrial Revolution changed the world: the Victorian era saw the rise of machine powered labour needing fewer people to do work, and mass movement of people from the country to cities. The Man with the Twisted Lip is one of Doyle's famous Sherlock Holmes stories. Sherlock Holmes is an amateur detective who always manages to solve his cases, unlike the police of the time who were unable to catch the infamous Jack the Ripper, at work two years before this story was written. ...read more.

Middle

Swandam Lane is a "vile alley lurking" near the wharves somewhere in the East End, the poorest part of London. "Vile" suggests a repulsive atmosphere and "alley" a dark, fetid passageway. The personification of "lurking" makes it seem either ashamed, or lying in wait, about to attack. The "slop shop" and "gin shop" are an indication of the poverty of the area. A slop shop was a place where ready-made clothing was sold which no respectable Victorian person would wear. The gin shop implies drunkenness and possible violence, as well as reinforcing the poverty of the area: gin was drunk by most working class people. It is dark, apart from the "two golden tunnels of yellow light" from a cart. "Golden" suggests something precious and "tunnels" some form of escape. Few sounds penetrate the gloom. The policeman's "footfall" is one, as a policeman would be needed in such a place, probably to subdue the shouting "revellers." These noises serve to heighten the silence around, suggesting that no one wants to stay there long. The "murky river" moves "sluggishly," murky suggesting debris hidden beneath the surface, and the adverb "sluggishly" gives the river the same lazy characteristics of the inhabitants of the area, or the middle- and upper-class view of them, as until recently they were the only people able to read. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is the essence of the human fear of darkness, used to great effect in much fiction: that there may be something near that could attack, and we cannot see it to defend ourselves. Sight is not the only sense used to describe the settings. The Signalman includes the feeling of damp on the wall and the cutting, and in a way, the so-called 'sixth sense' to feel the supernatural. The Man with the Twisted Lip incorporates sound and smell in the "clink of horse's hooves" and the "fumes." This more fully creates the desired atmosphere, as it is easier for the reader to imagine themselves in the setting. The Man with the Twisted Lip is set somewhere identifiable; although Upper-Swandam Lane itself did not exist, many readers would be familiar with similar places, and would be living in places like Neville St. Clair's house in Kent. Doyle also mentions the real counties of Surrey and Middlesex on the way to The Cedars. The setting of the Signalman is not named; the reader only knows it is a stretch of railway line, presumably somewhere in the countryside. This is in a way similar to Swandam Lane- it is a fictional but nevertheless very real place, and there were (and still are) railways running through dismal stretches of countryside. Dickens and Doyle have chosen their settings carefully to create the appropriate atmosphere of tension, foreboding and menace. This pathetic fallacy draws the reader in and adds to the interest of the story. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Conan Doyle section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Arthur Conan Doyle essays

  1. "The Man with the Twisted Lip," "The Final Problem," and "The Empty House" all ...

    he may be trying to keep the mystery in the story so it leaves the reader wondering. "The Empty House" is the next story, which brings Holmes back. Conan Doyle probably found an easy way to bring Holmes back into his stories since he had left so much mystery in "The Final Problem."

  2. Detective Fiction

    She discovered this method by noticing the paper near the vase had caught on fire, to her amazement she believed the vase had began a magnifying effect when exposed to sunlight, causing the paper to be magnified, in result to a fire.

  1. The 18th century England was embroiled in ceaseless controversy - Christianity.

    Also Herodotus said, "the Egyptian priests told me that the sun had four times deviated from his course, having twice risen where it uniformly goes down and twice gone down where he uniformly rises" (Apology, 52). In addition to this, as Joshua himself quoted (Josh.

  2. Detective stories have been very popular from the mid 1900's.

    To save his money he killed Julia and attempted to kill Helen. On the other hand in 'The Gatewood Caper' the relationship between father and daughter was less violent as Audrey looked for attention. A classic detective story would have the more violent storyline of 'The Speckled Band' as it is more explosive.

  1. Sherlock Holmes Uses of Settings

    " You can see that, although the den was legal, it was not nice; it was not just an alley people didn't like in the middle of London, it was a vile one that lurked behind the sheds and maritime buildings.

  2. How does Setting add to the atmosphere in the two Sherlock Holmes Stories - ...

    Miss Helen Stoner told Sherlock Holmes that when she heard her sister scream, she ran out into the corridor and heard a low whistling and low noise of metal dropping: "wild scream of a terrified woman...it was my sister's voice...

  1. Compare and contrast the ways in which tension and suspense are created in,

    Doyle also uses the fact that Victorian people were terrified of the seedier side to life beneath society to create tension and suspense. He does this by writing A.O.T.S.B in a "whodunit" style and by making it evident from the start that the culprit was close to home.

  2. The Hound Of The Baskervilles "How Does the Author use Pathetic Fallacy in his ...

    Although the speed of this book is fairly swift it's not overpowering and the reader doesn't get lost in all the twists and turns of the storyline, always feeling that they are on top of what's going on but not quite knowing what is about to happen next.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work